5 Piece French Wardrobe

5 Piece French Wardrobe

Over the last few weeks, I have been on a mission to streamline my wardrobe.  I have a huge closet filled with clothes that I have had for years and don’t really like.  It pains me to spend money on clothes for some reason, so I tend to hoard whatever I have for years, and then get a bunch more cheap stuff when I get bored with those items and the cycle continues.

I found myself wearing the same basic outfits that I loved over and over again and started to research online to get some advice about how to create a sort of “uniform” for myself.  I wanted my wardrobe to consist of basic neutrals that I can mix and match and during my search I stumbled across this article: How to Create a 5-Piece French Wardrobe and Change Your Life.

The basic gist is to get rid of everything in your closet that you don’t love, doesn’t fit, or you simply don’t wear.  Then, get some high quality basics that you can mix and match.  Finally, only purchase 5 non-basic items a season to keep up with trends and add some personality to your wardrobe.  As a result, you will have a capsule wardrobe, will spend less time figuring out what to wear each day, and you will spend less money overall because you will be more thoughtful in your limited purchases.

I went through my closet probably 4 times and kept putting more and more clothes in a pile to donate.  It was hard at first, but then I got on a roll.  I already had some basics that I loved and set out to purchase some other essentials.  Pinterest has sooo many great ideas, and the image above is actually my own creation with (mostly) items that I actually own.  (See below for links to my favorite items)

So after spending the last 3 years in either maternity clothes, or bigger post-partum clothes, I’m pretty excited to build a closet I absolutely love.  If you have done something similar, leave me a comment and tell me about your experience!

Black heels: Franco Sarto

Flats: Toms

Booties: Kristin Cavallari for Chinese Laundry

Shorts: Charlotte Russe

Everyday Jeans: Hudson

Bootcut Jeans: Paige

Black distressed jeans: Express

White jeans: Vici Collection

Blazers: Macy’s

Neutral tees: Victoria’s Secret

Neutral tanks: Vici Collection

 

Back to Work Schedule

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Now that I have been back at work for about 2 weeks, I kind of have a schedule for myself down.  I don’t like to feel stressed, and this schedule has allowed that freedom for me.  As for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays – I don’t really do a lot!  Those days are for fun times, going to the zoo, mall, or Sea World, and for just having a good time together.

Time Activity
5:30am Get up and get ready

Make everyone breakfast

Pack car

Eat my breakfast

Use any extra time to straighten, blog, or relax with some coffee!

6:30am Get kids up, changed, dressed

A breakfast, C bottle

A sunscreen

Playtime

7:15am Leave for daycare
8:00am-3:00pm Kids at daycare, me at work
3:15pm Pick kids up and drive home
4:00pm-5:30pm Playtime!!!

Wash bottles

5:30pm Family dinner
6/6:15pm C bedtime routine

A playtime

7/7:15pm A bedtime routine
7:30pm Pack lunch, shower, lay out clothes

Put toys away

Dishes

Quick straighten of house

8:00pm Free time!!!! Hang out with J 🙂
9:30pm Bed for mama!!!!!!!!

Our Newborn Experience

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I can’t believe my little baby turns 3 months old tomorrow.  I was so nervous about what our newborn experience would be like – would I have baby blues again?  Would A get used to becoming a big brother?  Will I be able to figure things out, a second time?  Baby C had his days and nights confused for weeks, most of the things I used to do to comfort A didn’t work for him, and sleep deprivation with a newborn and a toddler in the house was a whole new level of exhaustion for me.  But I didn’t have baby blues, A adjusted pretty fast to his new role, I got to know sweet baby C, and we all figured out how to sleep again.  All four of us are healthy, well taken care of, and most importantly – so loved.  J is the most incredible husband and dad, A is our little bff, and C – C is the sweetest, most perfect addition to our family.  We are complete, and I thank God over and over every day for this life.

Writing my silly daily notes of our newborn time together was very cathartic!  I hope that someone one day can benefit from my craziness, and read that part of my blog and see that it is okay to be confused, overwhelmed, sad, happy, and excited all at the same time.  It is bittersweet to watch my little baby sleep in his crib in his big boy pajamas and to see his special personality emerging.  I will cherish the memories of our first 3 months, and am excited to see what the future brings us.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

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C broke out of his swaddle at 4 and it kept happening until 6.  A is a little sick and contagious and we needed to cancel a few of our weekend plans involving other kids, including a holiday get together. The house cleaning service called to raise their rates, and our air conditioner isn’t working.  Since these things all were going on before 9am, I started to feel upset and then I stopped and asked myself, “Are any of these issues big things, or are they all just little things?”  I immediately felt better, even though nothing was resolved at that moment.  These are like the tiniest non-issues in the world!  I was at the zoo with the boys when I had this moment, and I actually turned the stroller around to go back to the exhibits that I was not present for because my mind was elsewhere and this time I was THERE and took the time to talk to A about the animals like we usually do, and to soak in the awe in his eyes and his sweet little smile.

It is amazing how easy it can be to let things get to us, especially if annoying stuff all seems to happen at once.  Taking a step back however and really thinking about a “problem” helps me to see it in a new light.  Yes, C broke out of his swaddle at 4 – but hello! He slept until 4!!!!  Yes, A is a little sick, but he is in good spirits and going to recover quickly.  Yes, we need to re-arrange some plans this weekend but I would hope others would give me the same courtesy if their child was sick, and someone actually came over and fixed the air conditioner so we are going to be nice and cool tonight 🙂

Working vs. Staying at Home

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Another mommy wars debate that I could care less about.  I need to delete my Baby Center app because some of the women on the message boards are so out of control.  The other night a woman posted asking if she was a bad mom for wanting to go back to work.  Most of us were supportive of her and shared our own experiences, but some of the women talked about how awful it is for a mom to pay someone else to “raise” her kids, how selfish can you be, blah blah blah.  It really struck a nerve with me.

Often when people ask me if I am so sad that my maternity leave is almost over, it feels a little awkward to say no.  I’ve been asked why I don’t quit my job now that I have 2 kids, or why I work when my salary basically goes to daycare.  I have heard stay at home moms refer to themselves as “full time mommies” and there just seems to be this notion out there that when you become a mom, you should devote your life 24/7 to your children and if you don’t, you better have a good financial reason.

Welp, I couldn’t disagree more because there is  no one-size-fits-all choice when it comes to being a parent.  Whether another mom works or doesn’t work does not affect me whatsoever, and I think whatever choice she makes is right for her family and that is all that matters. If one mother wants to like I said devote her life 24/7 to her children, great!  If one mother wants to work full-time, great!   J’s mom worked when he was little, mine didn’t work at all…we both have the same, happy memories from our childhoods because whether our parents worked or not had nothing to do with it.

For me, I do not have to work for financial reasons, I just choose to.  I worked full-time when A was born (2 of the days were from home) and I did not like it.  I thought about quitting, but I asked to work part-time instead and that has been awesome for us.  A loves playing with his friends at daycare, while I enjoy some adult interaction and the sense of pride I get for the projects I contribute to my school and for the health insurance I provide for my family.  I have 2 months off every summer so I get to the do the stay-at-home thing as well.  I plan to stop working when A goes to kindergarten because I want to be able to drop him off, pick him up, and volunteer. Those are my choices and I feel great about them.

I feel for mothers who are in situations that they wouldn’t choose – those who do not want to work but have to, and those who stay at home but wish they were working.  There is enough guilt that comes with being a mom as is (does that just come with the territory?!) and I hope that this particular mommy debate can come to an end soon.

Highlight Reel

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There are several moms who I don’t know but follow on Instagram; I like to be inspired by others and I enjoy seeing the fun things they do with their kids.  While I mostly like this glimpse into other people’s lives, it is hard not to start thinking that they are doing life so much better than I am – pictures of these adorably dressed kids, having dance parties, playing at Disneyland while sometimes I’m here looking at A still in his pajamas at 4pm and C dripping sweat from screaming in his hot carseat.

And then I read this blog post written by one of the moms I admire and it was just the reminder I needed that we are all only human and simply doing the best we can, no matter what our lives look like on social media.  I am guilty of having a “highlight reel” as well – I am just not the type of person to be negative on social media, so I don’t post pictures of toddler tantrums for example.  I use my social media accounts to capture the joyous and funny moments of my life, and I imagine many other people do the same thing.  There is no sense in comparing ourselves to others; we never know what is really going on behind the “filters.” My life isn’t perfect but it is absolutely everything I have ever hoped or prayed for.  My family is healthy, my kids are cared for and loved, my husband rocks. Focusing on gratitude has never failed me and I hope the next time you are tempted to feel less than someone else that you instead count the blessings in your life 🙂

 

 

Sample Schedule for 2 Under 2

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Okay so I don’t know how, but we somehow have a schedule down two and a half months in.  This will obviously change over time (A’s nap will get later, C will eventually have 2 naps, etc.) but this is what has been working for us.  I sort of forced a 4 hour schedule on C but he took to it really well and we have all been doing great so it all worked out.  A’s timing is pretty consistent, C’s varies 30 minutes but sometimes more.  Here is what our typical day with 2 Under 2 looks like!

Time Activity
6:30/7am Wake up, both boys get new diapers and dressed and fed
8/8:30am C nap #1, play with A – this is a good time for an outing!
10:30am C bottle, watch A play
10:45/11am A lunch while C hangs out
11am Play with both boys 🙂
11:30am A nap (new diaper, sound machine on, lights off) – put C somewhere safe (crib, playpen, swing)
12pm C nap #2 (new diaper, sound machine on, lights off and swaddle if in crib, or you can put him in swing, pacifier)
1:30/2pm Both boys up from naps (sometimes earlier than 1:30, but try to help them nap until then) – new diapers and everyone comes downstairs
2/2:15pm A snack, C hangs out
2:30pm C bottle, A plays
3/3:30pm C nap #3, play with A – this is a good time for an outing!
5:30pm A dinner while C hangs out
6/6:15pm C bedtime routine (put A in his crib with toys, or in playpen and let him watch Frozen or YouTube video) – bath, night diaper, onesie, swaddle, bottle in rocking chair, pacifier, sound machine on, lights off, kiss and say night night, crib
6:30-7pm Play with A
7:15pm A bedtime routine – bath, pajamas, brush teeth, night diaper, 2 stories in rocking chair, kiss and say night night, crib with blanket

Meal Prep

I like to make lunches for the week in advance; it is not the most exciting 30 to 60 minutes I spend on a Sunday, but having something ready to go for the week is way worth it for me.  Sometimes when I skip it, A ends up eating a gross lunch that I slap together and I end up eating PB and J while standing up.  By planning ahead, I don’t have to race around during lunch time and instead can take my time to make healthy meals for us.

For A I basically make sure to include a fruit, a veggie, and a main dish with a side of either milk or water.  I love to use this tupperware because it is divided into 3 sections.  I don’t have enough of them so A gets the cute ones and I’m stuck with plastic bags for my lunches (which usually consist of protein and veggies, with apples and Larabar as a snack).

You can check out my Toddler Meal Ideas on Etsy!

 

Sisters

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First, check out this incredible article my sister wrote about her experience with Whole 30 here.  She has awesome insight.

But I really wanted to write about how grateful I am for her in general…she has been on my mind constantly lately.  She has become my rock especially in the last few years since our mom passed away – even though she is my younger sister, I have come to rely on her for the support I used to go to my mom for and she gives it to me without complaint ever.

When I was in labor with A, I pretty much live-texted her the whole time every detail (leaving her horrified).  She flew across the country a couple of weeks later to spend time with us and she has had such a special bond with A ever since.  She recently came to meet baby C and this was when he was 4 weeks old and pretty much the height of my sleep deprivation.  The whole week she was here, I talked about nothing but sleep.  I was so exhausted, and literally obsessed.  And she just listened!  One night she held him for 3 hours and I slept those 3 hours – the first 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep I had since he was born.  I don’t know if she understands how much that meant to me, but I will never forget her generosity that trip.  We no longer are the sisters who fight over who gets to use AOL Instant Messenger; we never fight anymore because I simply don’t know what I would do without her.

So even though 3000 miles separate us, she is one of the most important people in my “village.”  And it certainly does take a village, doesn’t it?

 

Transitioning to the Crib

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**Please scroll to bottom of page for my update on DockaTot** There are so many different ways of going about this, but if you don’t start your baby in the crib from Day 1 (I did not) there is going to be a transition period.  My babies at least weren’t born loving their cribs – why would they enjoy a large flat cage when they could be snuggled in the swing or better yet, cuddling with me?!  I have let both kids sleep pretty much wherever they want at some point or another, but there comes a time where I make the crib happen – the sleep is more restful in there after a certain point, it is safe, and it becomes a space they love.  Well, at least A loves his – C is yet to be determined 🙂

With A, we started with nights at about 10 weeks.  I remember working on crib naps for a couple of months, but it wasn’t until about 6 months that he started really napping in the crib.  As a newborn at night he slept in the Rock and Play next to my bed and we both loved that thing.  But I was going back to work and felt like it would be better for him to have his own space so that I wouldn’t disturb him as I got up and got myself ready, so off to his room he went.  For about a week he didn’t sleep quite as long stretches in his crib, but he got used it and I will never forget at about 4 or 5 months, if you tried to rock him near his crib he would arch his little body away from you trying to get in his crib – once you put him down he would roll over and pass out and even now if you say it’s nap or bed time he sprints to his crib.

I made a little “nest” in his crib to transition him, which when describing this to a friend recently I realize there are actually products that do this for you, I don’t know why I decided to create a makeshift one myself!  Anyway, I put towels under the mattress so that it was at a bit of an incline, then I rolled towels tightly under the sheet into a “U” shape that sort of snuggled his feet.  After a few days, I took the “nest” away – A also started to roll to his side, and then his belly, and he loved to sleep like that so I think he rather started to enjoy the flat expansive surface!

Sweet baby C is the noisiest, gruntiest little guy and J and I decided to move him to his own room at 7 weeks old; I was sad and it felt too soon but at the same time, the 3 of us were barely sleeping and sure enough once he was in his own room we all started sleeping better, so moving to the crib does not necessary mean less sleep.  This time around I have a fancy thing called the DockaTot – it is like a tiny little snuggly bed for baby, and I put it right in is crib.  I will probably keep it in there for a few more weeks until he starts rolling.  C requires help settling down for the night in his crib, but he is getting more used to it each night and once he is asleep for the night, he gives us a good 6 hour stretch usually before his next feeding.  I’ll update once the DockaTot is gone to let you know the final results of the crib transition!

**Update: So the DockaTot website states that it shouldn’t be used in the crib, however I figured it would be fine since you can use the DockaTot for cosleeping in your own bed, so I didn’t see the difference between putting it in the crib, especially when C was too young to roll.  However, one night I was reading online about how babies might get too hot in the DockaTot and that overheating is a SIDS risk and I just didn’t want him sleeping in it anymore so I went to his room right then and there, took it out from under him, and that was that.  He didn’t wake up, and he slept clear until 6:20am so at 13 weeks, bye DockaTot.